With Wimbledon on its way, we’re turning our thoughts to tennis. As we all know, any activity is good, but some is better for you than others. Tennis happens to be one of the very best sports for your health for many reasons.
If you need some persuading, or want to know why those players at Wimbledon are in such good shape, read on for the best reasons to take up tennis.
Tennis certainly keeps you on your toes, and all that running and swinging certainly takes its toll on your waistline. Find yourself a super-competitive opponent who will keep you lunging and lurching around the court, and you’ll be burning hundreds of calories an hour (up to 600 for a man and 450 for a woman). Your body, and wardrobe, will thank you for it.
Tennis encourages quick, creative thinking, and this series of rapid thought processes means that the neurons in your brain are being fired around at super speed. Much like a game of chess, you need to think tactically and plan ahead: where will your competitor hit the ball, how hard and what tactic will they use? Changing the way you use your brain can also aid brain power in other ways, such as memory, attention and behaviour.
Lift your mood
Any exercise will help improve your mood through the release of endorphins, and aerobic activities like tennis are particularly good at doing this by reducing stress and even easing the symptoms of depression. You’ll also feel better for participating in a healthy activity, which can improve self-esteem and the motivation to continue with your healthy lifestyle.
Decrease your risk factors
In the western world, heart disease is one of the biggest killers, and most of the time it can be easily avoided by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a nutritious diet and active exercise regime. Aerobic exercise that gets the heart pumping can help keep heart disease and high blood pressure at bay. Burning 2,000 calories a week through exercise can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease by up to a third, meaning that just a few hours of tennis a week can drastically improve your chance of avoiding heart disease.
Hand-eye co-ordination is vital to tennis. It’s no use having great technique if you can’t judge where the ball will be in time. Equally, being an eagle-eyed player won’t help if you miss the ball every time it lands in your side of the court. Fortunately, playing tennis can help you hone your co-ordination skills, as you will need to learn how to manoeuvre yourself into the correct position very quickly in order to receive the ball. Your balance will also improve as a result as you become more in tune with your body.